Superman - Red Son

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Adam Parsons, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. Adam Parsons Member

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    I got this on a whim a few days ago, and was really impressed with the story. In this graphic novel, the infant Superman's pod comes down, not in the heart of Kansas, but in the warm wheat fields of the Ukraine. The story follows Superman as he eventually takes control of the USSR, and most of the world.

    Rather than making the Man of Steel just evil, the author has chosen instead to warp the character slightly. He still wants to do good, he just goes at it differently.

    Oh, and there's all sorts of bits of the Superman - DC Comics mythology thrown in too for good measure.

    So, anyone else read it?
     
  2. David S Poepoe Banned

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    I've read it and thought it was very interesting. Kinda reminds me of the Saturday Night Live episode of WI Superman's space capsule had landed in Nazi Germany. The Elseworld editions of the various DC comics always interest me and I keep an eye out for them.
     
  3. Gamingboy Member

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    I heard about that. I heard that the only way America remains america is by stealing Green Lantern rings.
     
  4. David S Poepoe Banned

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    Actually, if I remember right, they recover the Green Lantern ring from a spaceship salvaged near Roswell. It is the machinations of Lex Luthor that keep American free.
     
  5. G.Bone lurks

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    I have. A certain character in black with a bat shaped cowl is sort of ...on the bad side ....one would say.
     
  6. MerryPrankster Gone Fishin'

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    G.Bone,

    I think there are several comics where Batman fights Superman; usually it's when the latter goes off on a well-intended but generally bad spree of some kind (like in the movie "The Quest for Peace" where he steals all the nukes).

    When did Superman land in the Ukraine? If he lived through Stalin's terror-famines, might he become fervently anti-Communist and, when the Nazis invade, become a very powerful Nazi collaborator? And, if he turns on the Nazis like many Ukrainian nationalists did, might he be able to defeat the Germans and Soviets and establish an independent Ukraine after WWII?
     
  7. Gamingboy Member

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    What if he'd landed in a field near Berlin?

    We'd need a marvelous plan.
     
  8. Adam Parsons Member

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    According to the story, he landed somewhere in the Ukraine in 1938 (or 1923, internal contradiction), and he claims that his powers didn't manifest until he was 12. (Say, how old was he when he landed in the traditional TL?)

    The thing I wonder about is the personnel shifts of this USSR in 1953. In this story, the man running the NKVD is a man named Pytor Roslov, an illegitimate son of Stalin (!). What happened to Beria?
     
  9. G.Bone lurks

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    Well, in the comic it's implied that the guy running the NKVD is actually Stalin's son ( :confused: ) and that a raid that he does at a particular house,

    SPOILERS
    (highlight)

    /creates the man later on to become Batman/
     
  10. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    I really haven't kept up, but I THINK that current Superman convention has it that it took years under the yellow sun(?) to develop his powers.

    I am advised by a younger cousin that Clark Kent was actually a football player in high school, until his powers started to kick in.
     
  11. Torqumada Breast Man and urban legend

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    That is exactly what has been happenig with Superman since 1986, when his origin and powers were revamped in the John Byrne mini-series Man of Steel that came after the colossul realingment of the DC universe under The Crisis on Infinite Earth's.

    Torqumada
     
  12. Ivan Druzhkov Aspiring Apparatchik

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    I was reading a book discussing some of the common clichés of Soviet science fiction realized, and I’ve just realized that the world of Red Son seems to fit the basic pattern for the proposed “transition to communism” proposed by a number of Soviet sci-fi writers. In both Red Son and most Soviet works, the world is swiftly making the transition from capitalism to communism by the end of the 20th century. The transition itself is almost entirely peaceful and voluntary on the part of the capitalist countries, though the Soviet Union still remains friendly with all those that still cling to capitalism. In the Soviet Union itself, the system has produced a shower of material benefits for all citizens, while cities have evolved into showpieces of modern technology. Indeed, in many cases technology has succeeded in regulating the chaotic rhythms of nature, with weather control being almost a certainty. Even space travel is slowly growing more common, though perhaps less so in Red Son. However, the main difference between Red Son and most Soviet stories is the fact that the controls on Soviet society, most notably the KGB, remain in full force, and from what little we see of “life on the ground,” there are few signs that the new “socialist morality” has emerged. Given these similarities, I’m temped to say that Red Son was written partly as a satire of Soviet futurism (predictions about the future, not the school of art), but given the obscurity of the subject, I think it’s far more likely I’m just projecting my views onto Millar’s work. Still, I think it’s an interpretation worth exploring.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
  13. Redem Proud citizen of her majesty

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    Well this more of a superman of it's own considering that he follow golden age pattern (for exemple he's super-smart)
     
  14. Adept Havelock Member

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    I thought it was a fun read. Nice twist at the end.
     
  15. TimeStorm Member

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    Pytor Roslov was the Soviet version of Pete Ross, Clark's best friend.
     
  16. TimeStorm Member

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    It might looked like that, but it's pure coincidence. They wanted to show that Superman became like his biggest nemesis in Red Son, Brainiac, by putting Earth in a "bottle".
     
  17. Leo euler Member

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    Aug 5, 2004

    I think your post is basically correct. I got the same impression when I read Red Son. I'm willing to bet that the irony of Communism actually working was what the author intended.
     
  18. Fenwick Uncrowned ruler of Hippies

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    I think the way Lex Luthor was shown in Red Son is a very good twist upon the character. For we have to ask if Luthor is really evil. He creates weapons to fight Superman, has various schemes to bring him down, and all manner of things to stop communism but you cannot seem to hate him. After all he is not trying to take over the world he is trying to stop communism and the alien.

    One of the best lines is "I'm sure if Superman had been born an American he and I would be the best of friends." I think that sums up Luthor's character well. He is smart, beyond anything we can understand as smart, and yet he hates Superman and is determined to stop him thanks to a clone of superman beating him at chess.

    Also the note I think is an amazing way to have Superman stop. The strongest thing on the planet sees the truth is what stops him. So yes Superman is a communist, a tyrant, and much more but he is still a hero in that he stops when he knows he has done wrong.
     
  19. Ibn Warraq Banned

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    I remember this issue. I loved it and I agree that the twist on it was fantastic. I also liked how they had Superman justify such horrible things like the machines which "reeducated" people by saying he was making the world better.
     
  20. Redem Proud citizen of her majesty

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    Well it's the old "Squadron Supreme" problem in which what happen when superheroes decide to take over the world